Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Mashable: Monday’s Product Launch Was the ‘Worst Apple Event Ever’

Chris Taylor, in a Mashable article that will age with all the grace of a freshly cut avocado:

But the fun came to a screeching halt during Monday’s Apple event, in which there was precious little to announce (new Apple Music price tier, new HomePod colors, barely new AirPods) and enough tech specs from a confusing couple of laptop chips to send a Mac nerd like me to sleep. The $19 screen cleaner — this year’s iPod socks — didn’t even rate a mention. And not for lack of time. The keynote lasted 50 minutes, making it Apple’s shortest ever, and didn’t so much end as gave up the ghost.

This isn’t about entertainment value; it’s an indicator that the company is running out of creative steam. Apple was widely criticized, even by the Macworld faithful, for having little actual new technology to wow us with at September’s iPhone 13 launch event. But at least it covered that fact up with a vibrant love letter to the state that birthed it. A month later, the marketing department has nothing left in the tank. If I was an investor looking for signs of the company’s long-term health, this would be a troubling one.

Try to get past the factual errors in this piece, like Taylor’s claim that Craig Federighi showed up at an Apple event for the first time since 2020 with “under a minute of screen time”, despite playing a starring role in the WWDC 2021 keynote. Pay no attention to the widespread praise for the new MacBook Pro lineup, and demand so strong it made Apple’s online store creak under the pressure. Forget that this is Taylor’s sixth review of a pandemic-era Apple event and is resorting to the same cynical tropes. Never mind that the memorably vacant WWDC 2007 keynote contained some of the most unpleasant moments of the modern Apple era.

The thing that got me is that Taylor already wrote this article back in 2016. Taylor’s complaint was that the then-new iPhone SE was just recycling bits — that Apple was doing nothing new or innovative, just reconfiguring iOS in different boxes and selling it as something new.

As Taylor said this year, “get some new material”, which is just a different way of saying that his articles need something, as he said in 2016, “truly, categorically new”.